Review: Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder

By Voxy  

If you are a makeup newbie, you might be considering skipping this post. Do not do so, or else I will have to send Igor after you to hunt you down.

The reason you might be considering skipping it is that it would be easy to think that Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder is of a level of chi-chi-frou-frou-ness that you do not ever need or wish to attain. Not so, dear reader! It’s actually scandalously useful for the makeup minimalist as well as the glamazon.

Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder has one ingredient: silica. That’s it. Silica. The thing there’s more of in the earth’s crust than anything else.

(At $30 a pop, it does seem a bit of a rip-off, doesn’t it?)

The thing of it is, though, that silica finishing powder is like magic in a jar. It’s the opposite of primer — primer makes whatever’s on top of it look better; silica makes whatever’s underneath it look better. The reason for this is twofold: 1) it reflects light in a way that provides a visual effect similar to a soft focus photograph, and 2) it absorbs oil so that this soft focus remains matte and doesn’t get shiny in the middle of the day. It makes skin look and feel velvety, and it doesn’t settle into lines and wrinkles. See? Magic.

When I use it, it’s the last step in a fairly extensive skincare/makeup routine that involves serum, two moisturizers, two eye creams, primer, foundation, concealer, and blush. (I don’t use it on eyelids, so I’m not counting those products!) I apply lightly over the main areas of the face with a large powder brush and use a small fan brush or loose eyeshadow brush to dust it lightly under my eyes to set and de-shine my creamy undereye concealer.

But here’s some more magic: it has the same effect worn over bare skin. So if you have good skin and you don’t need a full-coverage foundation or powder, but just want something to take away shine and make your face look finished even without makeup, this is definitely something you should check out, especially for the summer. It won’t cover blemishes, acne scars, or discoloration — it really is colorless and translucent — so you may need a concealer underneath for that. But it’s great for a natural, no-makeup look.

You need only a tiny bit of powder, so I actually advise that you buy the small “to-go” size container (which wasn’t available when I bought mine) and see how long it lasts. You can buy this in bulk on the internet for less, but I figure that I use so little every day that I don’t really need “bulk” quantities, and being sure of brand quality is sometimes worth an extra couple of dollars, especially when the product is likely to last a long time. (I’ve had mine for a few months and have barely made a dent in it.)

Q. Is the kind of silica used in this product safe? I have heard that some silica is carcinogenic.

A. Yes, the kind of silica used in this product is safe. It is amorphous silica that has been turned into silica microspheres (basically very very small glass balls; glass is melted silica, after all). The kind of silica that is carcinogenic is crystalline silica, which has a different structure. If you are worried, you can look up the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) for the manufacturer and read the data sheet. Here is an MSDS of a safe silica microsphere product used in cosmetics (it is the same as the MSDS for Make Up For Ever’s silica, but that MSDS is not available on the internet; you could contact the company and ask), and here is an MSDS of an unsafe crystalline silica product, not used in cosmetics.

This is the other reason I don’t buy this in bulk over the internet. Also, common sense should prevail: if you plan to eat or snort this, or put it in your eyes, you are likely to have some adverse health reactions. The minimal amount used for cosmetic application is not a health issue. And there is silica in most cosmetic powders, so you are probably already using it.


MAKE UP FOR EVER HD High Definition Powder: $30 for full-size product, $15 for “to-go” size product

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. It’s overpriced, but the product is fab.

Purchase again? Yes, though it’ll be ages till I need to.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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